Baptisms

Baptisms at At. Alban's

The prayer book states, “Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s Body the Church. The bond which God establishes in Baptism is indissoluble” (BCP p. 298). In baptism, the individual is mystically joined to Jesus Christ and His Church, receives forgiveness of sins, and is and begins a new life in the Holy Spirit. Through baptism, “. . . we are buried with Christ in his death. By it we share in his resurrection. Through it we are reborn by the Holy Spirit” (BCP p 306).

Baptisms at St. Alban’s Chapel are typically reserved for the four dates recommended in the prayer book: Easter Vigil (or Holy Saturday), The Day of Pentecost, All Saints Sunday, the Baptism of our Lord (see BCP 312). We do not normally offer private baptism. Under some circumstances, when there is a compelling pastoral reason, baptisms may be scheduled for a Sunday other than those listed above.

 

The parents and godparents of the child to be baptized, or the adult in the case of an adult baptism, must complete baptismal preparation. This is generally offered on the Sunday before the baptism or may be arranged in advance in one’s home. Baptismal Preparation is conducted by the chaplain and involves a discussion of the meaning, history, and ceremony of the baptismal service, as well as the role and responsibilities of those who sponsor a child for baptism. Parents who wish to present their children for baptism are expected to attend. Godparents are strongly encouraged to attend as well.

 

We do not baptize infants unless their parents are active members of this congregation. If parents grew up at St. Alban’s Chapel or are otherwise related to St. Alban’s Chapel but now live elsewhere, we encourage them to have their child baptized in the church they are currently attend. If, however, they still prefer to return to St. Alban’s Chapel for the baptism, they are expected to demonstrate their current involvement in a church.

 

When a young child is presented for baptism, godparents (or “sponsors”) stand with the parents and join them in taking vows before God and the congregation. The parents and godparents promise to do all in their power to see that the child is brought up in the Christian faith and life. When selecting godparents, parents should select persons who will be able to take the baptismal vows with integrity and enthusiasm. Godparents do not need to be Episcopalians. They do, however, need to be believing, participating and baptized members of a Christian church. The promises the godparents make, along with the parents, are earnest commitments that can only be made by faithful followers of Jesus Christ. Parents are strongly urged to recruit only persons who are willing and able to carry out those responsibilities faithfully.

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